YORKTOWN, N.Y. – dA rash of retirements and resignations brought a lot of new custodial and maintenance employees into Yorktown schools this year.

Being a new face in a new place can overwhelm anybody, especially if there are no veteran employees to offer a lay of the land.

With that in mind, administrators launched the school district’s first-ever custodial mentorship program, ensuring that the new hires feel at home in the Yorktown School District.

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“We have mentor programs on the administrative level, we have mentor programs on the teacher levels, and we thought it was appropriate to establish a mentor program at this level,” said Dr. Ron Hattar, superintendent of schools.

Dennis Verboys, director of facilities, said roughly 20 people were either hired or promoted into new positions for the 2018-19 school year.

“We thought it would be a good idea, if we’re bringing new people to these buildings, if we set up a mentor,” Verboys said. “Someone they could go to, peer-to-peer, and just get the lay of the land on the job expectations.”

The two mentors in the program are Rocky Serrecchia (middle school and high school) and Jimmy Seaboldt (elementary schools).

Serrecchia said he’s been meeting with the new staff members for 15 to 30 minutes every day after his shift ends at 2:30 p.m.

“I stay and we talk over things,” Serrecchia said. “We talk over what’s going on for the evening and we talk about other things. I’ve been doing it for a while.”

Hattar said he is unaware of any other school district mentorship program for custodial and maintenance workers in the region.

“My expectations are high,” Hattar said. “The facilities are a big part of our brand. When people come to visit our schools, their first interaction is with our facilities. So, [their] jobs are really, really important to what we do.”